“Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success.” – Norman Vincent Peal

I am happily busy preparing more lessons for the Prosperity Summer Camp webinar that kicked off last week.  Therefore, I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from two years ago that demonstrates just how much influence our expectations and attitude have on what happens to us. That’s a key concept we will soon be covering in the summer manifesting course. I hope you enjoy it (or enjoy it again)!

June 28, 2015

“Your expectations set the limits for your life.  If you never expect anything good, you’re never going to receive anything good.  If you don’t expect things to get better, then nothing will get better.” – Joel Osteen

I just had one of my most memorable and wonderful birthdays.  My heartfelt thanks go out to all my friends, family, readers and clients who sent me your best wishes, cards and gifts!  Rick and I spent the day at our favorite recreational spot, Disneyland, and experienced a number of mini-miracles that made our day extra-special.

We go every month with our Annual Passes, and some visits are more crowded times than others.  This month, not only are all the kids out of school, but it’s also Disneyland’s 60th anniversary and there are lots of “Diamond Jubilee Celebration” attractions and events designed maximize attendance.

Rick is a native New Yorker, so jostling crowds don’t bother him.  I, on the other hand, was raised in the wide-open spaces of the Southern California suburbs, where I never saw a parking meter until I was in my 20’s.  Crowds bother me.  A lot.  I hate to admit it, but hot days, jostling crowds, long lines, crowded restaurants and baby strollers bumping my heels sometimes make me feel pretty cranky.

Anticipating that the day was going to involve crowds, I did my early-morning prayers and preparation to focus my subconscious mind to expect THE BEST from the day, regardless of whether it was hot, the lines were long, and other guests were less than polite.  No matter what outer circumstances would be, I reminded myself that my own ATTITUDE would be the #1 factor determining my experience.

I stated my INTENTION aloud (so God/The Universe and my own subconscious mind would be sure to hear and remember the BEST scenario that I wanted to experience): “Today, we have a great time at Disneyland. My birthday is fun, light, and happy.  People are kind and thoughtful. I am patient, relaxed and grateful. I am Priceless!”

It was Tuesday, but when we arrived at 11:30am, it looked more like a normal summertime Friday. We just waded in with a smile and the crowds parted. We walked right up to the hostess stand just as our favorite restaurant opened and requested the first available reservation at noon. That turned out to be perfectly timed for the arrival of our dear friends, who came all the way to the Park just to have lunch with us and then had to run off to a family function.  How kind and thoughtful!

While we waited for our friends, Rick bought me a cute Minnie T-shirt (yet another in his week-long extravaganza of birthday presents for me). Since there was nobody else in the shop, the two salespeople were relaxed and chatted with us for quite awhile, even giving us the “insider” scoop about the best days and times to avoid crowds in the Summer. How kind and thoughtful!

After lunch, we found one of our favorites rides temporarily closed, so we opted for a spin around the nearby Rivers of America on the S. S. Mark Twain steamship, an authentic replica of the three-story paddle wheelers Samuel Clemens used to pilot on the Mississippi before he became the famous Mark Twain.  I always assumed it was on a track, but on Rick’s birthday a couple of years ago, someone told us that guests can request to steer the boat.

Rick went up to the Pilot on the dock and asked if we could steer on this trip, but she said, “Sorry. We don’t take requests anymore. We just pick people at random now.” We didn’t allow ourselves to feel disappointed.  We just smiled and relaxed on a nearby bench, looking forward to the trip.  I was just hoping there’d be room in the shade on the second deck because it was a warm day.

Just before boarding, the Pilot approached Rick and said, “Nobody has been picked to steer on this trip. So I guess you’re it!”  We had a blast, with Rick steering and me chatting with the Pilot in the wheelhouse, enjoying the best view of the river imaginable. Before we left, she took our picture holding our official “Pilot’s Certificate” dated June 23, 2015, with both our names on it, stating that we are “qualified Pilots of the S.S. Mark Twain.”  It is now proudly displayed in our Disney curio cabinet – a unique Diamond Jubilee keepsake that we couldn’t buy in any store. How kind and thoughtful!

Before the evening finale to our special day, we went to our favorite restaurant adjacent to Disneyland, the Napa Rose.  A full dinner in the four-star restaurant’s lovely dining room was a tad too pricey for this trip, so we decided to splurge on shared appetizers and a couple of glasses of good wine in their comfy lounge.  The servers are first-rate professionals, and ours couldn’t have been nicer or more attentive.  Unfortunately, she misheard our order and brought out the wrong appetizer. She took it back to the kitchen for a replacement while we relaxed and enjoyed our wine. We had plenty of time, so no sweat!

After a leisurely, delicious meal, including two great desserts, the check came.  Without saying a thing, our server had comped our appetizer and my “birthday” dessert. As a result, our tab was about half of what we expected.  How kind and thoughtful!

At the end of the evening, as we waited for the tram to take us back to the parking structure, I felt tired, happy and entirely fulfilled.  This turned out to be one of the happiest, most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.

I choose to believe that’s because I EXPECTED the Best and I was determined to be MY Best.  And that’s why I GOT the Best in return!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity.  Don’t fight them.  Just find a different way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey

Are you struggling with a challenge — Something that isn’t going the way you thought it would or wanted it to? Are you feeling disappointed, frustrated, defeated and wondering what YOU must have done wrong to attract such a negative result into your life?

I want to assure you that what looks like “bad news” in your life today can turn out to be “good news” in the long run.  IF you maintain the right attitude in the face of a negative present, in the not-too-distant future, you will look back at your present challenge as the necessary catalyst for a result that is ultimately very GOOD for you.

My personal belief is that it’s a Divine Plan for your highest good, working itself out in ways we cannot entirely understand because we have a very limited view of the Universal Big Picture. But it is a phenomenon that I have seen too many times in my life and the lives of many, many coaching clients to believe it’s due to luck or coincidence.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy,” meaning that the “energy” (your thoughts plus your emotions) with which you respond to a person or circumstance will attract MORE of the same to you.  It’s not what initially happens to you which determines the ultimate outcome; it’s how you respond to what happens that either keeps things snowballing in a negative direction OR halts the negativity in its tracks and begins attracting positive people, resources and serendipitous events that will work in your favor.

One of my clients recently experienced this phenomenon in a big way.  In April, she and her Team of dedicated business partners had a very challenging and frustrating month in their network marketing business. Her company is expanding rapidly across the globe and wanted to install a new online platform to allow all the countries that will soon be coming on board to use the same seamlessly-integrated system to sell products, sign up new business partners and provide ongoing training, support and communications world-wide.

But, as often seems to happen in the wonderful world of computer technology, things did not go as planned during the switchover to the new system in early April.  There were many frustrating glitches that prevented customers from placing orders or charged them twice, kept new consultants from signing up, or prevented them from tracking their sales numbers. It was a tangled mess that the company’s technical experts struggled for weeks to fix, as many Teams’ productivity slowed to a crawl.

Experienced Team Leaders like my client had some balanced perspective.  She knew the company was ethical and believed the staff were doing their very best to make things right, and trusted that everything would ultimately work out.  But many of her Team’s newer members were stymied and upset and sent frantic messages to her almost hourly, causing her emotional stress.  She felt terrible for them and helpless to do anything to change the situation.

I worked closely with this Leader client to help her maintain a positive mindset, reminding her frequently that she could only do her personal best, and must let go of all feelings of guilt or concern about things she couldn’t control.  She could either be a positive mindset role model for her Team, or allow their fear and negativity drag her down with them.  To her great credit, she worked diligently every day to be patient, maintain her poise and keep expecting The Best outcome to emerge from this apparently very bad situation.

Near the end of the month, it was clear that the computer glitches could not be fixed anytime soon, so the company reverted to its old system and made things as fair to everyone as they could.  Basically, they gave each consultant the benefit of the doubt. Thus, anyone who had entered the month of April striving for a particular sales goal would get credit for having attained it, based on their numbers from March.

What this meant for my client and her Team was very positive!  In March, they had been closing in on the volume needed for April to be the first month of her three-month “Lexus Run.” This meant that if the whole Team sold a certain dollar amount of products, and maintained that level for three months in a row, my client would earn a free lease on the Lexus model of her choice.  Once a Leader achieves her Lexus, every member of her Team sees the evidence that they can do it too – They are going to the TOP together!

Even though my client’s Team didn’t come anywhere close to the required sales volume in April, largely due to the computer system SNAFU, the company still gave them credit for achieving “Month One” of the three month Lexus contest.  This windfall gave them all such an emotional boost after their frustrating April struggle, they sailed right past the minimum required sales number in May for a solid “Month Two” triumph.  June is now my client’s third and final qualification month to earn her Lexus, and everyone on the Team is fired up and working like crazy to reach the goal that nobody doubts is going to happen.

In retrospect, my client can see that, if things had gone normally for her Team in April, it isn’t certain whether they actually would have sold the required amount to begin their “Lexus Run.”  But because of her steadfast positive response to what initially looked like a very BAD situation, things turned in their favor in a BIG way.

I give all the credit to my client for maintaining her own positive energy, and being a great role model for her Team to do the same.  Way to allow God/The Universe to control the “How” and turn her Bad News into Great News!

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking next week off so that I can begin preparing for my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar.  ALL my readers who subscribe to this blog will get the first information/registration email very soon.  The six-week course begins on Tuesday evening July 18. I promise you that it going to be interactive, fun and will create LOTS of new prosperity for those who join me! Your friends, family and teammates are welcome to join the course. Please pass my informational emails along to them and encourage them to sign up too!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

 

 

“I have never met a single human being that has made a lifelong, meaningful change that came from shame or guilt….I have seen so much positive change that results from self-care, self-love, self-esteem and self-respect.” – Taryn Brumfitt, body-image activist

If your own personal goals have nothing to do with your weight or physical shape, please don’t stop reading today’s topic.  I believe it applies to any Big Goal, and I hope it will inspire you to adopt the right mindset that will enable you to succeed at reaching your own goals, be they health, financial, career, creative, romantic – whatever is most important to you.

My wonderful husband and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary on May 5th – Cinco de Champagne, as Rick likes to call it.  We want to celebrate in style, so we are going to Hawaii for eight days and nights.  We have both been before, but never as a couple.

The first four nights, including our anniversary, will be spent on Oahu at the Aulani, a Disney resort I have dreamed of since it was built several years ago.  (If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that Rick and I love all things Disney, AND the resort itself is fabulous.)  The second four days/nights will be spent on Kauai, the Garden Isle, which is the loveliest of the Hawaiian Islands.

When New Year’s Day 2017 rolled around, we already had our reservations and all the details taken care of.  The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was getting into my bathing suit.  Yeah.  The usual Holiday weight gain had piled on top of the Holiday weight from the year before and the year before that.  I was feeling pretty resigned about it, to tell you the truth.  I just tried to avoid full length mirrors as much as possible.

My husband thinks I’m hot, no matter what.  So my self-esteem wasn’t really suffering.  But I didn’t feel good in my clothes, and I knew my energy level had taken a nose dive.

I have struggled with trying to lose 10 or 15 pounds just about all my life.  I had some success with keeping it off for a few years, but whenever I hit a rough patch in life, I often turned to food for comfort and stress relief.  During the Great Recession and its aftermath, I pretty much gave in to the chips and cookies for good.

When I thought back to our wedding 10 years ago, I remembered how proud and happy I felt that day about everything – the event itself, finding the Man of My Dreams, and working my butt off (literally) to fit into my wedding dress!

Fittingly, I found my one-of-a-kind Dress of My Dreams on sale on a solo trip I took to Hawaii to attend a workshop about six months before our wedding.  It was exactly what I wanted, but it was a size smaller than I was at the time.  So, I took on the project like my life depended on it.  I hired a personal trainer, worked out consistently, ate carefully and voila! A critical short-term Big Goal got me to my ideal weight for the dress.  (OK, Spanx helped a little, too!)

This January, facing a similar Big Goal of fitting into my bathing suit again and not feeling old and tired on my second honeymoon, I wondered, “How can I find some of that drive and commitment that carried me to my Big Goal 10 years ago?” I was just not feeling I had it in me to do it again.

That’s when I had two key insights about what was REALLY holding me back from finally achieving a healthy weight that I could maintain permanently.   

First, with my wedding dress Big Goal, I had to admit that what truly motivated me then was FEAR.  I was terrified of risking public humiliation by having to buy another dress, after showing off my Dream Dress to my closest friends, who were also my Bridesmaids! This time, I definitely wanted to look good for Rick and to feel good in my own body, but I didn’t have the same compelling OUTER-directed fear of “What will others think if I fail?” about looking good on the beach!

I realized that what Taryn says in her quote is absolutely true.  I was able to make a short-term change for the wedding, but when that temporary goal was reached, I began to undo it almost immediately.  I ate and drank like there was no tomorrow at our reception and fell so far off the wagon that within a month, I had regained 10 pounds, which kept compounding over the next ten years.

TAKE-AWAY #1: If you want long-term success, you need a substantial, POSITIVE “Why” for pursuing your Big Goal.

My second insight was that I remembered my earlier journey to weight loss success as being really HARD.  Ten years older, I just didn’t feel physically or mentally up to “suffering” through deprivation and hard workouts for months on end. And since my temporary triumph had all come undone very quickly, my Inner Doubter kept whispering, “You know it’s just going to fall apart again! So why bother?”

That’s when I saw clearly that I had been living the last 10 years of my life out of these two powerful  Limiting Beliefs – That only FEAR can motivate me, and that I just don’t have the self-discipline to make lasting changes.

TAKE –AWAY #2:  I created a new Empowering Belief possibility for myself: Positive change can be EASY and PERMANENT.  

Very soon, the most amazing solution to my weight loss dilemma appeared.  As often happens, when you are truly ready to RECEIVE a better How, God/the Universe directs you to fulfill your desire in a way that is easier and more satisfying than anything your own Ego could come up with.

Last year, Rick was diagnosed as being on the cusp of developing Type II diabetes, which his doctor tried to treat with conventional medicine and conventional nutrition, with little success.  Rick had several relatives suffer and die from this disease and he was determined to beat it.  Unbeknownst to me, he went to a presentation by a wellness clinic that uses cutting-edge nutrition and supplements to control blood sugar and reverse the effects of Type II diabetes.  Before I knew it, he had embarked on a radical lifestyle change.

I am a lucky woman because Rick does ALL of the shopping and cooking.  He began following his new program to a T, buying only organic, drinking more water than ever before, and taking a lot of supplements. We both learned a lot of eye-opening information about common foods that have a bad effect on blood sugar, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, the mold in coffee and peanut butter and the inflammatory properties of tomatoes, dairy and some kinds of cooking oil.

As Rick stuck to a strict list of healthy fruits, salads, vegetables, chicken and seafood, I just ate whatever he prepared for dinner because I wanted to support him. It was no hardship, because the food was really delicious and we both learned to be satisfied with smaller portions. In a few weeks, I had effortlessly dropped 10 pounds.

After I realized what was happening, I decided to be a little more focused in my own habits, keeping up my daily one hour walks and cutting out desserts, except for grapes and strawberries.  The “raging” sweet tooth I had always claimed to have seemed to disappear on its own.  So much for fear and hardship!

As of today, I have lost 15 pounds and Rick has lost 23. Most importantly, his blood work is excellent and he looks and feels amazing. And, one week before our trip, I am happy to say that my bathing suit fits just fine.  In fact, I had to buy some smaller-size clothes for the trip.

Now, I am truly committed to my Big Goal of reaching and maintaining my ideal healthy weight. (Just 10 more pounds to go!)  Yes, I know that I will enjoy a few Mai Tais and some great food in Hawaii, but I have an internal knowing that I won’t fall off the wagon again because for the first time, I am doing it for the RIGHT reasons: Self-love, Self-care, Self-esteem and Self-respect!

The blog will be taking the next two Sundays off to prepare for and enjoy our trip to Hawaii.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, May 14.  Aloha!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or toll free 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

“If I were asked to give what I consider the most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you.  You cannot defeat me.’” – Ann Landers

In last week’s blog (The Winning Team – Blog 261), I explored what makes for a “Winning Team.”  My inspiration was that it was Super Bowl Sunday. Little did I know when I wrote it that Super Bowl LI would turn out to be a game for the Ages.  Moreover, how the New England Patriots pulled off their come from WAY behind win provided a textbook example of what a Winning Team is all about.

As you will recall, I suggested that, besides sports teams, there are many other teams in our lives — at the office, in the network marketing industry, schools, families,  volunteers, government, etc. – and  I identified five qualities that I believe a Winning Team must have:

  • A shared Purpose
  • Mutual respect
  • Clear, honest communication
  • A team-supported designated Leader
  • Good sportsmanship

I also invited my readers to let me know of any other winning qualities they could identify.  Two did.  And both of those qualities definitely were present for the Patriots to become the #1 Winning Team in American football:

6) Heart – The first reader quoted the Super Bowl sports commentators who said the biggest difference they saw in the winner was “heart.”  That’s an evocative word which, to me, means being so completely committed to your Big Goal that you never, ever consider giving up.  You keep going even when the odds are ridiculously stacked against you because you believe in yourself, your team and your dream.

The Patriots certainly had heart.  They persevered to narrow a 25 point deficit to just 8 points behind the Falcons with about 3 minutes left to go.  I have a confession to make.  I turned off the game at that point.  I know….It looked so impossible to me, that I thought it was over. Clearly, I didn’t BELIEVE in the Patriots the way they believed in themselves.

Fortunately, because the Patriots had heart, they never gave up. They managed to tie the game in the nick of time and went into the first overtime period in Super Bowl history.

How did they do it?  One. Play. At. A. Time.  If they had simply looked at the “big picture” like I was doing, they might have been tempted to let discouragement or desperation seep in and their plays would not have worked as well as they did.  I watched the replay of the fourth quarter and overtime the next day, and I could see it all over quarterback Tom Brady’s face:  100% COMMITMENT to his goal and 100% FOCUS on what the next step needed to be.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”  The Patriots persevered, one play at a time, and they triumphed.  And as I have seen countless times for myself and my clients, because of  the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”), whenever you are ALL-IN, you seem to attract a “lucky” break exactly when you need it.  In this case, the Patriots won the coin toss at the start of overtime, allowing them to receive.  And they made the very most of that opportunity with some incredible plays, culminating in a just-barely-over–the-line touchdown to win the Super Bowl.

The second reader reminded me of another very important characteristic of a Winning Team that was also present in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory:

7) Acknowledgment — Every winning team needs both a focused leader AND committed members. Every single individual on the team contributes to the win, not just the few who stand out for their extraordinary accomplishments.  Even an immensely talented quarterback like Tom Brady can’t reach his Big Goal unless every single player on the team performs his job to the utmost of his ability.  That’s why EVERY member of the Winning Team gets a Super Bowl ring, symbolizing their own hard work, sacrifice and “heart” that contributed to the team’s victory.

Every one of us craves acknowledgment, and the leader and members of a Winning Team all make sure that each and every member feels appreciated.  Be it a sports team, a business team, or a marriage, no team member who feels taken for granted will stick around for long.  Recognition doesn’t have to come in the form of a trophy or money or tangible prize.  It can be as simple as the words “Thank you for your efforts” or – EVEN  better  – those words could be written in a personal note or posted publicly, so the recipient can treasure them forever.

I hope these seven qualities are something that you are actively working on incorporating into your own Winning Team, in whatever area of life it may be.  Remember, you don’t have to be perfect in order to win your game.  You just have to have heart and give it your BEST!

PLEASE NOTE:  In honor of President’s Day Weekend, the blog will take next Sunday off.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday February 26.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

“People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

It’s that day! The biggest television audience of the year is going to be watching. Yes, it’s Super Bowl Sunday in the USA.

Even those who are not rabid football fans, as I confess I’m not, can still appreciate that the two teams battling it out for the title of The Best Team in American Football had to work very hard to get there, and they deserve our respect for that. It got me thinking about what it takes to create a Winning Team in other areas of life.

Life is filled with many types of teams: workplace teams, school sports teams, couples, families, military teams, the political parties that make up our government (ideally) act as teams, and many of my coaching clients are part of a network marketing business team.  Since we all participate on some type of team, it’s worth exploring how we can be more successful when working together.

I have identified the following five characteristics of Winning Teams:

  • A shared Purpose. A successful team must work together for a common goal, a greater good.  The individuals on the team have a clear shared purpose that is bigger than their own ego’s self-interest.  As the quote from President FDR says, committed people coming together can accomplish much bigger things than they ever could alone. So it’s in a Winning Team’s nature to be collaborative and practice sharing the spotlight and rooting for each other’s success, in order to get something that everyone on the team wants.
  • Mutual respect. All members of a team must show each other respect, even when they disagree about how to reach their mutual goal.  Each individual must be willing to listen to the others’ opinions, even if she vehemently disagrees with them. We learn more from listening to those whose opinions differ from ours than from those who agree with us. Eventually, through respectful give and take, individual members will reach a consensus about what needs to be done and what each individual’s role will be in pursuing the team’s Big Goal.
  • Clear, honest communication. Each member of the team must have the courage to speak his own truth (in a respectful way) in order for this effective collaboration to take place.  It is sometimes hard to speak up for what we believe is right when we think others might disagree or be offended.  But when you speak respectfully and own your OWN feelings without blaming or shaming others, you do them a great service because it allows them to see things from a different point of view than their own, and to understand the impact their words and actions have on others, which they may not realize. Be clear, concise, authentic and drama-free, and your opinion will be respected and considered, as long as the other members believe you are committed to the team’s Big Goal.
  • A team-supported designated Leader. Every effective team needs a respected and collaborative leader to organize, summarize and build consensus. Sometimes this leader must make the hard call alone, if there is insufficient consensus among team members, yet steps must be taken quickly or their shared Big Goal will be lost.  The Winning Team Leader acts as an inspiring quarterback, rather than a demagogue. She willingly listens to ALL the members’ input, then identifies the most likely path to victory for the entire team and gets their buy-in before moving forward.
  • Good sportsmanship. What makes a sports contest exciting is that only one team can win. There inevitably will be a “loser” in any head-to-head contest. Whether the side that loses a game, an election, a family vote on where to go on vacation, or their division’s annual Team Sales Contest is a good loser or a poor loser will have a greater impact on their long-term success than just about anything else.  Life is full of failures along the way to ultimate success.  A team that says, “We didn’t win this time, but wait until the next round!” is a team that is assured of eventual victory. Because the Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy,” you can bet that a team that takes their loss personally, blames each other or expresses sour grapes is destined to continue their losing streak. But a team whose members are willing to own and learn from their mistakes is going to come back stronger, more focused and more determined than ever to reach their Big Goal.  Victory is already in their sights, and they will eventually triumph.

If you have other ideas about what makes for a Winning Team, I would love for you to share them with me and I will pass them along to my readers in future blogs.  In the meantime, enjoy the Super Bowl and I hope you will keep working to develop your own leadership qualities and winning attitude, so that you AND your Winning Team will eventually reach the Big Goals you are pursuing!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Early Nightingale

As the whole world knows, we just inaugurated our 45th President of the United States.  Whether that thought makes you happy or makes you cringe, it’s a fact.

While I have very little positive to say about Donald J. Trump the man, I do have a high regard for America, for our democratic process and for the American People’s right to choose our Leaders.  So I am consciously choosing to give President Trump my respect and support, as long as he does his sworn duty to serve and protect our country.

And although I can feel disheartened when I read about some of the policies the Trump Administration and Congress seem ardent to pursue, I choose to take the long view recently expressed by departing President Barack Obama: “We’re going to be OK.”

In fact, I think President Obama’s is a great philosophy for life in general – you can expect that you are going to be OK.  Even better, you can expect that you are going to continue to be or become GREAT and that your life is going to remain or become GREAT.

“Optimists don’t always present as cheerful,” says Eric Kim, a research fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “…but they have the general expectation on the inside that things will be better [in the future].”

In a Los Angeles Times article (12/24/16) containing the quote from Dr. Kim, I read this startling statistic published in the American Journal of Epidemiology: “Researchers at Harvard University found that among a group of 70,000 female nurses, the 25% who were most optimistic had a 31% reduced risk of mortality while they were being tracked compared with the 25% who were least optimistic….[T]his work was one of the first to show that optimism is also associated with reduced risk of death from infection, respiratory disease and cancer,” the authors said.

The article went on to say, “Kim said it is unlikely that simply thinking positive thoughts about the future is behind the effect he observed.” According to Dr. Kim, “People who are more optimistic generally get better sleep, exercise more, and have healthier coping habits to reduce stress….These could be some of the pathways that optimism is working through.”

The Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) would also explain that optimists are more likely to attract other positive, optimistic folks into their sphere, while habitual Debbie Downers tend to repel positive people who don’t want to be bombarded by their constant complaints and dire predictions.  And as we all know, positive, empathetic friends can be a GREAT source of stress relief and support in trying times.

My personal favorite strategies for reducing stress are to watch a funny TV show or movie with my perpetually-optimistic husband, Rick, or laugh on the phone with my BFF, Lisa.  Lisa and I certainly don’t always express a positive view of everything, but as we trade our ironic observations and sarcastic quips like a couple of late night talk show hosts, our shared laughter releases tension. Throughout our lives, having a good sense of humor has helped us keep everything in perspective, no matter how dire the personal challenge or world problem we face.

“The good news,” according to the L.A. Times article, “is that optimism can be taught. Twin studies suggest that having an optimistic point of view is inherited 25% of the time, but there is also evidence that it can be learned.” (I believe I got my humorous, outgoing and optimistic tendencies from my Dad, while my dear Mom’s shy, more worrying nature seems to have been inherited by my brother.)

According to the Harvard study, keeping a daily Gratitude Journal is one of the simplest strategies for learning and increasing a sense of positivity and optimism, which is why I assign it to ALL my coaching clients.  Also, “keeping a list of the times you have been kind to others and  practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis also have been shown to improve optimism, as have various types of cognitive behavioral therapy,” according to Dr. Kim.

So, you don’t have to be a yippy, skippy, always-happy Pollyanna about everything that comes your way in order to live a healthier, happier and potentially longer life.  You just have to have a solid belief – I prefer the word FAITH  – that things are eventually going to get better, just as long as you expect The Best, take steps to actively work toward your goals with everything you’ve got, and consistently strive to live up to your own ideals, values and integrity.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E hour of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this your BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

“The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy

This is the most challenging blog I have ever written.  It is very close to my heart and still very raw and emotional.  Mainly, it is a challenge because I don’t think I can ever do justice to the subject.

The subject is the passing of a dear friend of mine.  I met Jerry Tagami when I was 17 years old.  He was my teacher, my role model, my husband for 12 years, and ultimately, he was my dear friend.  He was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known, in that he seemed to live every day just happy to be alive and able to contribute to someone else’s day.

Although he was too young to remember his first years of life, I am sure they were embedded in his soul in some way.  He was born on May 13, 1943 in the hot, bleak spot of Gila River, Arizona. Through absolutely no fault of their own, his American-born parents and relatives and many other hard-working US citizens of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast were rounded up and sent to internment camps during WW II. This was due to the US government’s unjustified fear that they might want to aid the Japanese in conquering the only country they had ever known.  Jerry’s father, Kay Tagami, fought in Europe as part of the highly-decorated 442nd battalion and eventually his family was released from the camp to start life over in the Midwest.

But this isn’t the topic of my blog.  I just wanted to make it clear that Jerry began his life in the most difficult of circumstances.  When he was old enough to realize that, he could have felt justifiably bitter.  Instead, he emulated his parents, who forgave what was done to them and made the very best life they could for him and his sister in their new home of Chicago. When Ronald Reagan’s administration eventually gave him $20,000 in restitution, he did a very Jerry-like thing: He bought a big Harley Davidson motorcycle.  I guess he thought that living well really IS the best revenge!

Jerry loved English literature, and planned to get his PhD at the University of California, Irvine and then teach at the university level.  To sustain himself, he got a “temporary” job teaching English at Newport Harbor High School, beginning in my senior year.  Soon, however, he realized that he could have more fun and make a greater difference for young people at this impressionable age than he ever could in the university system. So, he quit the PhD program with an MBA and settled into the life he really loved.

After 34 years of teaching and just six months into his second, very happy, marriage to his soul-mate, Diane, the most unimaginable tragedy befell them – Jerry suffered a brain aneurysm, which nearly took his life.  Skillful doctors saved him, but he suffered profound short-term memory loss.  Thank God, he still knew who Diane, their family and most of his friends (including me), were. He could even recall with precise detail events that happened back in his early days at Newport Harbor High.  He loved to reminisce about his classes, fun travels and good times with Diane and his friends, who were mostly other teachers.  But Jerry could not be left alone while Diane was at work, or he would wander down the street and forget where he lived. So reluctantly, she had to entrust him to the daily care of loving nurses at a nearby home facility, where she and his old friends visited him regularly and took him on outings as much as his deteriorating body would allow.

On September 11, 2016 at age 73, after 13 years of being lovingly and loyally cared about and for by his amazing love, Diane, Jerry succumbed to a second unfair tragedy – lung cancer.  Two days ago, I attended his memorial celebration in Newport Beach, along with 100 or so old friends, nurses, former workmates and students who loved, admired and were grateful to have had him in their lives.

I have to admit, the tragic side of Jerry’s story is the one thing in life that has ever made me question my belief in an all-loving, all-powerful God.  Still, I have come to accept it as just one of those great mysteries of life – Why do bad things happen to good people? We won’t have the definitive answer until we are wherever Jerry is right now.  I’ll bet he wishes he could prepare an amusing and enlightening lecture on the topic, to save us the anguish we are all feeling at the loss of him.

Since I know that we always have a CHOICE of what to focus on, I choose to focus on what I DO know for sure: Jerry Tagami’s life, while far too short in duration, was filled with more joy, enthusiasm, impact and meaning than 10 lifetimes would be for most of us.

Sometimes as I watch the evening news, I feel helpless about the huge problems that appear to beset just about every part of the world.  I wonder, “What can I do… What the heck can one ordinary person do about all of this?” But as I sat there during Jerry’s life celebration, listening to his friends and family members speak about his legacy – the enormous influence he had on their lives — I realized that there is a LOT each of us can do to make a difference for our fellow human beings.

For me, the most impactful memories were shared by Diane Tagami.  She read an email that was sent to her recently by one of Jerry’s former students.  The writer said she felt isolated and alienated during her high school years and her English teacher seemed to sense this intuitively. On the last day of class before Winter Break, Mr. Tagami took her aside and gave her a little book of poems by Edna St. Vincent Milay.  He told her those poems had helped him get through some tough times and he hoped she would like them, too.

The woman confessed in her email that she had been planning to commit suicide over the vacation, but when Jerry said to her firmly, “And I look forward to seeing YOU after the break,” she changed her mind. If Mr. Tagami cared about seeing her again in his classroom, that was proof that she was worth something.

We rarely appreciate the profound impact our small daily kindnesses – a word of encouragement, a smile, a listening ear, spare change — can have on someone else.  The thousands of students Jerry taught and  the friends and family he will always have were forever changed for the better by his gentle, wry wit, wise insight, unflagging encouragement, enthusiasm, love and quiet compassion.  I know that these little “pebbles” he dropped into our lives created ripples that will continue to expand outward to bless many, many others through us.

Thus, the impact of Jerry Tagami’s life far transcends his death, just as the unique gifts that YOU bestow on others will live on long after you depart the planet.  I leave you with this little poem. Shine, on, Jerry.  Shine on!

“Use God’s Gifts”  by Hilda Lachney Sanderson

“If you’re blessed with a loving heart,

If you’re caring, good and kind,

With many strengths and talents,

And a smart, clear-thinking mind,

Consider these as gifts from God

For you to use each day;

Rely on them as you begin

The chase of fortune’s way.

Do not forget to use God’s gifts

In what you choose to be,

Mix success with peace and love and generosity.

Acknowledge that strong voice within

That tells you right from wrong;

Console, encourage, lift others up,

And keep a faith that’s strong,

Use wisely all God’s gifts to you;

Stay true to what you are,

And you will prosper in this life

As God’s own shining star.”

If you would like your own free subscription to receive A Cup of Caroll three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!) 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com to schedule their session.